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Jaybird

Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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  1. The bad news: While jogging two days ago, my father fell and broke his hip. To make matters worse, because of the stent they put in him when he had that heart issue a little while ago, they cannot do hip replacement surgery for at least three months. He’ll be in a wheelchair. Mom is wheelchair-readying the house and making the proper arrangements. Dad says his pain level is a “2” (out of 10), which means that by reasonable standards it’s probably a 6 at least. (My dad is the sort of person who, when someone noticed he was face-down on the concrete, unable to move, and in need of assistance, his thought was that he needed to go home so that Mom could take him to the local clinic, instead of going to an ER.)

    The good news: No cigarettes. In fact, until Clancy asked about it, the thought of getting a cigarette hadn’t occurred to me. Considering that stress is one of my biggest triggers, that’s pretty huge.

    That, along with the fact that he fell on his hip and not his head and that my parents are in a financial position that they can afford to do what needs to be done here, are the silver linings around the dark cloud.Report

  2. Avatar Anne says:

    Will sorry to hear about your Dad,

    Getting ready to head out to a live midnight performance of Rocky Horror Picture Show….Its just a jump to the left…Report

  3. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    Three words:

    Mrs. America. Pageant.Report

  4. Avatar Chris says:

    Since a few things didn’t quite go as planned over the teenager’s birthday weekend, specifically we weren’t able to do the fondu restaurant that he was really looking forward to (he’s been once, years ago, and in his mind it was the coolest thing ever), girlfriend, who has a fondu set, and I are making him fondu. Hopefully it won’t be a spectacular mess.Report

  5. Avatar J@m3z Aitch says:

    Heading up to the tip o’ the mitt (extreme northern lower Michigan, if that helps) to help a friend do some work at a cabin he just bought. He got 70 acres, well off the beaten path, for under $70k, including an almost completed cabin, a brand new generator, a Ford tractor, and bushhogging implements (the former owner was a hunter, and kept paths clear for deer). We’re going to clear some brush and try to finish the drywalling in the cabin, or maybe the cabinet trim, or maybe just drink a lot of beer.

    Will, best wishes for your dad. Can we assume you’re the same, “I’m ok, don’t worry” kind of guy, or has being married to a doctor put the kibosh on that?Report

    • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to J@m3z Aitch says:

      J@m3z,

      That sounds like a hella good weekend. If it is anything like my weekends that were supposed to be spent on cabin-construction projects you will definitely drink more beer than work.Report

    • Avatar NewDealer in reply to J@m3z Aitch says:

      What does someone do with 70 acres of land? I read a story on-line today about someone selling their 7500 square foot house and it was a very nice house* but my thought was “Who needs that much house.” 1500-2000 square feet seems more than enough on a quarter acre lot or so.

      *The house was in Park Slope, Brooklyn and I’m surprised it still exists in this condition:

      http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/10/safran-foer-selling-park-slope-home-for-145m.htmlReport

      • Avatar Chris in reply to NewDealer says:

        Ugh, Safran Foer. Good to see what a trite, emotionally-manipulative book that leads to a movie deal gets ya these days.

        I can think of lots of things to do with 70 acres, though.Report

      • Avatar NewDealer in reply to NewDealer says:

        Maybe it is the New Yorker-San Franciscan in me but that seems like way too much space.

        I was talking about this with a friend recently. I had a friend in college who was grew up in a small two bedroom apartment with his parents and sister. His parents turned the second bedroom into two rooms with a dividing wall. That was too small. Yet a lot of suburban houses seem too big.

        There is something about a nice sized apartment which is just the right kind of size.

        All of this makes me horribly un-American probably 🙂Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to NewDealer says:

        7500 does seem excessive to me, but I could easily do stuff for half of that. Exercise bike takes up space. TVs take up space. Kids take up space. Computer setup takes up space.

        Our first house in Arapaho was 2200 with another 800 in the basement. It was not efficient use of space, though. The next house was something like 1400 but made much better use of space. We didn’t have room for all of our stuff. This place is even less, with no garage. It costs as much as the 2200+800 in Arapaho did: $1000/mo.

        We seem to aim more for price than size. Of the last five places we’ve lived, four had a rent of $1000/mo. It ranged from a garage apartment of about 800sqft to the house with the basement that size. It’s amazing how one can adjust upward or downward. Upward is easier, of course.Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to NewDealer says:

        Natasha keeps talking about how if we won the lotto she’d want a well-designed house of 1,200 to 1,500 square feet. This doesn’t seem like enough to me for our post-lotto lifestyles, even considering the high utility that good design can yield. My home theater alone will require a substantial amount of space, and my computer workstation will be the bomb but that too requires space. So does all the wine. And that doesn’t begin to get in to what I’d want in the kind of kitchen those lottobucks would buy.Report

      • Avatar Patrick in reply to NewDealer says:

        House: max size 1900 square feet. More than that is too much cleaning.

        Outbuildings, though, that’s a different story. You can have a 1000 sq foot workshop and not be using too much space.

        70 acres is a tad on the small side. But only a tad. I could get by.Report

      • Avatar J@m3z Aitch in reply to NewDealer says:

        @newdealer,
        What does someone do with 70 acres of land?

        Sit outside the cabin with a shotgun in case any federal agents come around.

        More seriously, the upper part of the lower peninsula is sparsely populated, so parcels run big. 20-30 acres is the norm, and my friend’s land (potentially partly mine, too) is technically two parcels. The previous owner used it as for hunting. My friend won’t, nor will I (although we don’t oppose hunting, and probably someone would just need to ask), but it will still act effectively as a wildlife refuge.

        Also a personal refuge. It’s good to get away from electronica world sometimes, and just sit in a quiet place, and ramble around in the woods. And for me, because I’ll have a key, and my friend won’t be there all that often, it means I can head off to natureland whenever I like, and I won’t have to spend money on a hotel room, or make reservations, or beg to borrow someone else’s quiet place. A good place to get some writing done, too, because of fewer distractions.

        @patrick,
        I’m with you. It’s all about the outbuildings. A big shop would be great. And there’s a house around the corner from me where the previous owner turned the old single car garage into a bar. I saw it a few times when I walked by with the dog while he was hosting parties and had the garage door open. It made for a pretty cool looking dive, and none of the mess was in the house. I was jealous.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to NewDealer says:

        James, right, the best thing about 70 undeveloped acres is the undeveloped part.

        I’m a minimalist (that’s my girlfriend’s word for it) at home, so I don’t need much space (don’t have much furniture, don’t have much to store), but man do I like big, people-less spaces outdoors.Report

      • Avatar J@m3z Aitch in reply to NewDealer says:

        Leaguefest 2014!Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to NewDealer says:

        Burt,
        One of my computers at home is the size of a small pony. It takes up very little floor space (about as much as a small refrigerator, and it fits places the refrigerator won’t).Report

      • Avatar NewDealer in reply to NewDealer says:

        @burt-likko

        I’m fine with a MacBook pro laptop and I also never got the idea of needing a huge home entertainment system. One of the things that people notice and are seemingly startled by in my apartment is that I have a small TV. One of the first flatscreens (inherited from mom and dad after they upgraded). I don’t watch much TV and like going out to the movies so a whole super home entertainment system is not much appeal for me. Plus I don’t really play video games.

        Now I would like something dedicated to the storage of wine (250-400 bottles should more than suffice) and a room that can be a real library/study with loads of book shelves.

        The Portland Apartment looks great or if I had more money a house in Mill Valley or a classic Brooklyn Brownstone/Rowhouse:

        http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/15/greathomesanddestinations/what-you-get-for-800000.htmlReport

      • Avatar NewDealer in reply to NewDealer says:

        @patrick

        I’ve never had an outbuilding and don’t quite see the need. I’m not much of a tinkerer as a guy.Report

      • Avatar Patrick in reply to NewDealer says:

        I’ve never had an outbuilding and don’t quite see the need. I’m not much of a tinkerer as a guy.

        When I was younger, I had suspicions.

        Now that I’ve gotten older, I have much stronger suspicions.

        One of my strongest suspicions is that what really makes me happy is messing with stuff in a very haphazard way. This requires a space to lodge both tools and sufficient space to have multiple odd projects going on in various states of completion.

        I very much want a workshop.Report

      • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to NewDealer says:

        My dad’s workshop was one of my favorite places in the world. Such an awesome mix of junk, tools and projects in various states of completion. I have to settle for a corner of the basement. Sometimes when I am really bored I will draft blueprints for the ultimate workshop for after I hit the lottery. It’s going to be a monster when my numbers come in.Report

      • Avatar NewDealer in reply to NewDealer says:

        @patrick @mike-dwyer

        My dad is not really a workshop or tinkerer type of guy either and I never really believed the guys who think that being a “real man” requires knowing how to work on old cars and change belts and tires and stuff or do basic carpentry and electrical work. Most cars are computers these days and tampering on your own is a good way to void a warranty.

        Also Patrick your academic background probably leads to more tinkering than mine. I’m an arts and humanities guy, I just like to ponder.Report

      • Avatar Patrick in reply to NewDealer says:

        I never really believed the guys who think that being a “real man” requires knowing how to work on old cars and change belts and tires and stuff or do basic carpentry and electrical work.

        Oh, those guys are wrong!

        I just happen to enjoy (only some of) that stuff. That’s me. If I’ve learned anything in this life, it’s that opinions about what make other people happy are pretty much the most useless opinions of all… followed closely by opinions about how any class of people ought to be or feel. Being a “happy human” is important. Being a “real man” is an exercise is some sort of serious perverse behavior, usually.

        Most cars are computers these days and tampering on your own is a good way to void a warranty.

        Amen to that, brother.

        Also Patrick your academic background probably leads to more tinkering than mine. I’m an arts and humanities guy, I just like to ponder.

        There is a lot to be said for pondering. I’m a fan. I prefer my ponderings to take place in an open space, optimally next to a fire, with a very cold beer or a very hot Irish Coffee, and a very warm jacket when the air is crisp and the company is of a mindset to participate in group pondering, but any old sort of ponderings are grand things as well.Report

      • Avatar Notme in reply to NewDealer says:

        You plant a food plot for deer, then hunt them and eat them.Report

  6. Avatar Kazzy says:

    Finally celebrating my 30th birthday, about two months late. We spent the actual day at a memorial service for Zazzy’s uncle, who passed unexpectedly and too early after a biking accident. After that, we got swallowed up with the start of the school year. My sisters wanted to do something special for me for my 30th and apparently they thought my request of a bread maker was “too boring” for their tastes. So, we asked them to get us a hotel room in the city and to take Mayo for the night. So, we’ll grab dinner at the Palm, hit another friend’s birthday party for a drink, and then make use of that hotel room the only way we know how… sleeping in, miles away from our crying son.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Kazzy says:

      Thirty.

      You’re thirty.

      Dude, you’re barely not a zygote yourself, and you have a kid?

      Seriously, have a great time!Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Burt Likko says:

        I’ve been thirty for two months!

        I was actually talking recently with a colleague about the whole family planning thing. We were just the second couple amongst our various groups of friends, learning just shy of our 29th birthdays. This made us feel relatively young. But my mom had me, her third, just after turning 30. And she was/is a college educated career woman. Plus we plan to have more than one but wanted to do so before pregnancy risks hit the “danger zone” for Zazzy.

        It’s crazy to think about… Me with a kid. But crazier to think of my mom… 30 with three under four years of age. Oi!Report

    • Avatar J@m3z Aitch in reply to Kazzy says:

      then make use of that hotel room the only way we know how… sleeping in, miles away from our crying son.

      Oh, yeah. And appreciate the hell out of your sisters for giving you the break. Being able to do that once in a while is so valuable.

      Eventually, when your youngest of however many is about ten or so, you’ll be able to put that hotel bed to another use.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to J@m3z Aitch says:

        I trust you mean building a righteous fort?Report

      • Avatar J@m3z Aitch in reply to J@m3z Aitch says:

        No, no. I assume nobody would be putting up any defenses that night.Report

      • Avatar Rod in reply to J@m3z Aitch says:

        When our first was born, the neighbors (older, empty nest, no grand-kids) basically declared themselves god-parents. Bought a crib, playpen, books, toys and practically demanded to babysit at least once a week. It was SWEET. That kid’s 24 now and we still keep in touch.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to J@m3z Aitch says:

        My family has this weird way of offering to babysit when they are really demanding time with the little guy. Somehow, we end up feeling guilty about rearranging our schedule so they can have one-on-one time with him. Because, ya know, they’re giving us free babysitting. That we don’t necessarily need. At times and places inconvenient to us.

        I tell them, “If you want time with Mayo, just ask!” “No, no… we just want to help you. So bring him by at our convenience and make sure to send a thank you card.”

        They’re well meaning but this can be maddening. Still, it is good to have family relatively close and eager to help. As we contemplate a move out of the area, this will likely be the biggest loss we suffer.Report

  7. Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

    My 20th high school reunion is Saturday night. Class of 243 and we have 28 reservations (not counting significant others). We are definitely not an enthusiastic group when it comes to reminiscing about the old days. Still, it is in a bar and most of the guys I liked best will be there, so it will be fun and I’ll be glad when it is over.

    I got my fall turkey last weekend so no hunting this weekend. Lots of lingering projects around the house that I need to catch up on so I can enjoy the main hunting season relatively guilt-free.Report

  8. Avatar Maribou says:

    studying, cat wrassling, chores, errands. missing Jaybird. feeling torn between my allergic reaction to the cats (shhh, they don’t know) and not wanting to leave them sleeping in the main bed ALL ALONE without any human while I hide out in the cat-free library. (esp. since they will cry relentlessly.) i changed out the bedclothes tonight, hopefully that will buy me another week.

    Oh, and since both of our two closest sets of couple friends ALSO have an out of town spouse this coming weekend, the 3 of us left at home (plus an 8-year-old kid who is included among the left-at-home in this equation) will be hanging out on Saturday night. It will be lovely. Plus SOMEONE OTHER THAN ME WILL BE COOKING.Report

  9. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    I’m going to be researching and writing a feature piece for the blog to run next week, maybe shooting nine holes, and roasting a side of salmon.Report

  10. Avatar Cascadian says:

    At some point in the future, I’m going to have great weekends again. I’ll have great weekdays too. Right now….. just another work weekend.Report

  11. Avatar Patrick says:

    I’m going to not be doing anything. Oh, we’re hosting the chilluns of friends who need their girls to have a sleepover so that they can have some brain free time, but unless Ellie decides that our bed is an acceptable parental substitute (unlikely, she’ll probably jump in bed with her sister), we just need to do minor cat herding.

    I am completely flat busted exhausted.Report

    • Avatar Chris in reply to Patrick says:

      How did the movie night come off last weekend? Swimmingly, I hope.Report

      • Avatar Patrick in reply to Chris says:

        Last weekend was prop building for the yard, the movie night was last night (Halloween).

        If you’re on Facebook, send me a friend request and you can see pictures.

        We started Them! at about 5:30 when the first trick-or-treaters showed up. I ran Godzilla after Them! was over, and then we got through about half of Godzilla vs. Mothra before the trick-or-treaters stopped coming altogether. We went through a bucket of candy and a case of beer, and got several compliments on the little cityscape (more than I’ve had on any previous years’ yard decorations) and more than a few minor traffic jams from people hanging around long enough to catch big Godzilla or ant attack scenes before they moved on to the next house for trick-or-treating.

        One older guy walking up the sidewalk shouted out approval of the choice of Them! (he’d obviously seen the movie several times, he got it without ants on the screen) and mentioned that he was wondering what we were going to show this year. A few other parents-of-trick-or-treaters mentioned things like, “Oh, this is the movie house” and at one point some guy was talking to someone else on a cell phone and said, “Remember the house last year with the movies? That’s where I am”… so I think we’re getting a rep.Report

      • Avatar Reformed Republican in reply to Chris says:

        I am inspired Patrick. My son has outgrown the Trick or Treating, so I may try to do something cool at the house next year.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Chris says:

        Awesome! Sounds like it indeed came off swimmingly.Report

  12. Avatar Damon says:

    Anytime now I see or hear about a Fuddruckers I think of the movie “idiocracy”.Report

  13. Avatar Chris says:

    Was it Johnny Rockets that had the phone at the table? I remember an old 50’s style burger joint that had that, but I don’t remember which one.Report

  14. Avatar Reformed Republican says:

    Tomorrow I am going to head to my parents’ house and go through accumulated stuff of mine that I have never taken with me. I will sort it into stuff to move with me, stuff to leave with them, and stuff to get rid of. I have to figure out what I want to do with things like my old Star Wars figures from the 80s and my comics from the 90s. Do I want to continue to hoard them? Do I want to try to sell them? It is a little easier, since I do not have to worry about packing, but I still do not want to bring along too much excess crap that is just going to sit, unused, in a closet.

    Sunday evening my son and I fly out to Houston for next week’s house hunting trip. Hopefully we will come back with a place to live.Report

  15. Avatar Boegiboe says:

    We have nothing planned. Yay! I just got an Amazon Prime free trial, so maybe we’ll watch movies. I also bought a Humble Bundle of Cipher Prime games that I haven’t had a chance to install yet, so I’ll try that out. I’m not finished with Bastion yet, so maybe that. And of course there’s Rocksmith to practice. Alice likes PokePark and Scribblenauts on the Wii, so maybe we’ll play those.

    So many games, so little time.Report

  16. Avatar dragonfrog says:

    Not a whole lot, as of yet, which is kind of nice.

    I might go dancing tonight. I shaved my beard for a Halloween costume – last time I did that plenty of people didn’t recognize me; most folks who’d be at the dancey thing haven’t known me long enough to have seen the lower half of my face. Alternately, I might try to round up a few short notice dinner guests.

    My wife’s got a bellydance performance I’ll probably go to on Sunday.

    Other than that, probably a whole lot of not much.Report

  17. Tomorrow (Sunday) I’m running the Junior Olympic qualifying tournament for fencing in Colorado. Everything’s getting done at the last minute — not my choice, just the way things are. Then home to continue hammering my head against Javascript and WebGL. It’s been so long since I’ve done anything in OpenGL or its derivatives, so it’s like starting over.Report

    • Well, the event is in the books. If success is measured by the number of irate parents complaining about the venue or the referees (with zero being the best score possible), it went pretty well. Two observations: (1) if you walk around a fencing event with papers in your hand, people will follow you in hopes that you’re about to post information they want, and (2) when I fence in tournaments in the future, make it a point to be nicer to the bout committee people.Report

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